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noun Informal.
  1. a Confederate soldier.

Origin of reb

shortened form of rebel


noun Yiddish.
  1. Mister (used as a title of respect).

Origin of Reb

literally, rabbi
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rebs

Historical Examples

  • Every time we tried to get to them the Rebs would fire on us.

    The Twenty-fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion

    George P. Bissell

  • Besides, they might be Rebs—and we might get hurt shooting at them.

    A Question of Courage

    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • The Rebs weren't as good as we were, but they were trickier, and they could fight.

    A Question of Courage

    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • The Rebs had retired about eighty yards in the wood to where it was thicker.

  • The Rebs didn't stand to meet them, but fell back behind a barn.

British Dictionary definitions for rebs


  1. (sometimes capital) US informal a Confederate soldier in the American Civil War (1861–65)Also called: Johnny Reb

Word Origin

short for rebel


  1. Judaism an honorific title, corresponding to Mr, for those who do not have rabbinic qualifications: usually followed by the person's forenameReb Dovid

Word Origin

Yiddish, from Hebrew rabbī rabbi, master
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rebs



abbreviation of rebel (n.), 1862, in U.S. Civil War context.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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